Join the Harney family for a one of a kind tea-centered tour of greater London. Harney & Sons Tea is served at some of the most important tea drinking destinations in the British capital, including the famous Dorchester Hotel and the Historic Royal Palaces. Speaking about Britain, George Orwell once said, “Tea is one of the mainstays of the civilization of this country!”

And Orwell was right: nobody drinks tea like the Brits! They average at least three cups per day, encouraged by a wonderful tea drinking culture that has flourished there since the national beverage was made fashionable by King Charles in the 17th century. Today tea is a part of local custom, vernacular, way of life and pop culture at every level of society.

In London, take a day-long Tea Infusiast Masterclass at the UK Tea Academy, set out on a historic walking tour including visits to Royal residences and the Tower of London, dine at some of the capital’s top restaurants, and indulge in the traditional British tea service everywhere from the city’s poshest hotel to below the copper hull of The Cutty Sark. We’ll trace the history of tea and the tea industry from China to India to the British table. In this adventure packed week our small group, accompanied by Mike & Brigitte Harney, will dive in to explore London and her fascinating tea history.

Friday, July 20—Welcome to England!

  • Tour the world’s largest collection of living plants
  • Raise a tea-infused cocktail (or mocktail!) with your fellow travelers in the handsome hotel library

Upon arrival at London Heathrow Airport your Onward Travel guide awaits with comfortable private transportation ready to whisk you away on an English adventure. We’ll start this day with brunch together and our first hot British “cuppa” (tea!) at historic Newen’s, located in the London suburb of Richmond, where “Maids of Honour” cakes are a 300 year old tradition, reportedly named for Anne Boleyn. The Maid of Honour cake is a cheese filled puff pastry tart, and we’ll nosh on those along with a delicious and restorative hot breakfast.

Then let’s head to the world’s largest collection of living plants, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, for a guided tour. Officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these gardens were founded in 1840 and contain tens of thousands of plants as well as an Arboretum, a lake, and plant houses spanning from the Victorian era to the contemporary. It’s the perfect place to stretch legs and jump right into Britain’s outstanding garden tradition. We’ll be especially excited to see the newly restored Great Pagoda.

In the afternoon we’ll check into our four-star hotel in the heart of London, The Chesterfield Mayfair. A boutique hotel boasting style and charm galore (think dark wood, antique furniture, original paintings), a top-hatted doorman to make sure you know you’re in London, and beehives on the roof to make the honey for our tea…it’s the perfect place to spend the next six nights. Take a little time to freshen up and then we’ll meet for a welcome dinner reception in the hotel’s gorgeous library complete with tea-inspired libations.

Saturday, July 21—Tea Infusiast Masterclass

  • Spend a day with world renowned tea educator Jane Pettigrew

Enjoy a wonderful full breakfast buffet at the hotel as you will each morning of your stay. Feel like room service? Great idea! It’s complimentary, just order at the concierge the night before.

Time to do a little learning! Today we will attend a private Tea Infusiast Masterclass with tea expert Jane Pettigrew at the UK Tea Academy. Ms. Pettigrew, the author of sixteen books on tea, has worked in the industry for over 30 years and she teaches tea masterclasses all over the world. In 2014 she was voted Best Tea Educator at the World Tea Awards and in January 2016 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Tea Production and Tea History in the UK’s New Year Honours list.

We’ll spend an entire day with Jane and her team, tasting some of the world’s best teas, learning about the fascinating and intertwined history of Great Britain and tea drinking, talking tea together and even making our own blends!

Dinner together tonight will be a casual and festive affair at a vibrant Mayfair gastropub.

Sunday, July 22—London Immersion

  • Get to know the sights & culture of London with a fun local guide

  • Nosh on Dim Sum, the Chinese meal that inspired afternoon tea

Let’s get acquainted with London today! A friendly and knowledgable local guide will meet us after breakfast and we’ll set out for a historic London walking tour. Our hotel is in the posh neighborhood of Mayfair, just adjacent to the royal district of Westminster which has one of the highest concentrations of famous landmarks in the world. From triumph to tragedy, splendor to squalor, the area has cradled royalty and witnessed revolt.

We’ll learn all about it this morning as we follow royal footsteps along the Mall, stroll the hustle and bustle of Whitehall, pass Downing Street (home to Britain’s Prime Minister), and enjoy the relative tranquillity of Horse Guard’s Parade where two of England’s most famous ceremonies take place. We’ll visit Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and The Houses of Parliament.

Our walking tour breaks in the vibrant neighborhood of Soho for a delightful dim sum lunch at a stylish, upscale Asian teahouse. This traditional Chinese ritual of tea accompanied by delicious morsels, especially dainty dumplings, will be extra special today since just the day before we’ll have learned about how this foreign custom played a major role in the evolution of English tea culture.

This afternoon we have a wonderful visit planned to the legendary Tower of London, one of four UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. Used variously throughout its history as a royal palace, an armoury, a prison, an execution chamber, a zoo, a barracks and a jewel house, this working royal castle offers a stunning insight into 1,000 years of history. Our informative private tour today will include the Crown Jewels and other highlights of the Tower of London.

Spend this evening in the English capital as you wish. London boasts superb dining and an amazing theater scene and Onward Travel is happy to assist you in making reservations and/or booking show tickets before the trip.

Monday, July 23—London As You Like It

  • Spend today as you wish and swap stories over a Venetian dinner

Today is yours to spend as you wish – maybe some of the world’s best shopping will do the trick, or you’d like to explore the vibrant Southbank with the Tate Modern and Borough Market. Whatever London experience you desire Onward Travel is happy to advise.

Tonight the group will gather for dinner at Polpo, a popular and vibrant London eatery that is among the Harney family’s favorite restaurants in town. Over cichetti and a spritz we’ll recount the different adventures we all had in London today.

Tuesday, July 24—As Posh As It Gets

  • Spend a morning in Kensington Palace before it opens for the day

  • Enjoy pure luxury over high tea in the Penthouse and Pavilion Suite at the Dorchester Hotel

This morning we will set out to visit Kensington Palace before it opens to the public for the day — a real privilege and an experience you’ll long remember. This royal residence set in the Kensington Gardens is among the officially designated Historic Royal Palaces, with whom Harney & Sons Tea has an official partnership. Members of the British Royal Family have resided here since the 17th century

and today it is the official London residence of a number of royals, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) and Prince Harry. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the historic State Rooms and an opportunity to enjoy the special exhibition of Princess Diana’s wardrobe, Diana: Her Fashion Story, before the crowds fill it up at opening time.

In the early afternoon, a real treat is in store – champagne afternoon tea in the exquisite baroque styled Penthouse and Pavilion suite at the iconic Dorchester Hotel. A fairytale come to life, these rooms are unforgettable and the terrace overlooking Hyde Park is the perfect place to toast your fellow travelers and enjoy a photo op. We’ll sit down together for a delightful spread featuring Harney & Sons Dorchester Breakfast Tea.


Wednesday, July 25—Exploring Greenwich

  • Visit the most famous surviving tea clipper
  • Enjoy a festive farewell dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant

This morning we’ll ride a ferry down the Thames to enjoy a lovely day in Greenwich, a London district bursting with history. The Cutty Sark tea clipper, built in 1869 and now moored there on the Thames, was one of the last and fastest tea clippers, as she was built in the era just before sailing technology gave way to steam propulsion. Retired for public display after 85 years on the high seas, the Cutty Sark is an important relic of the trading industry of the past. This morning the curator of Cutty Sark will engage our group in a Curator Tour of the ship with an emphasis on its role in the Tea Trade. After the tour we’ll enjoy a delicious “Cream Tea” (tea accompanied by scones with jam and clotted cream) beneath the vessel’s copper hull.

After Cutty Sark we’ll explore another treasure of historic Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum, the largest Maritime Museum in the world. Once again we’ll be met by the museum’s curator for a private tour of the current exhibition which couldn’t be more appropriate for our group: Traders: the East India Company. After learning all about the East India Company’s pivotal and fascinating role in British maritime trade you’ll be free to explore the rest of Greenwich as you like.

Walk up the hill in Greenwich Royal Park to the Royal Observatory, the home of The Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time, and an important location in the history of navigation and astronomy. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of London from the top of the hill. Or explore the Queen’s House, an architectural masterpiece and once a Royal house of delights. Today the Queen’s House is home to the Royal Museums Greenwich art collection which includes works by European and British masters. The little village of Greenwich is full of great lunch options, including the very hip and happening Greenwich Market Complex.

We’ll return to the Chesterfield Mayfair together in the late afternoon. Our farewell dinner together tonight will be a quintessentially British dining experience, with a nod to the tea history we’ve been taking in throughout the week. Enjoy an unforgettable cocktail followed by a delicious dinner at a Michelin-starred fine dining Indian restaurant near the hotel. Whether Indian cuisine is new to you, or already a favorite, this meal will be a delightful experience and we’ll laugh and toast our wonderful week together as we enjoy a menagerie of flavors and beautiful, stylish presentation. Cheers!

Thursday, July 26—Farewell!

Our wonderful time together has come to an end. Book a private car to the airport through the concierge, or take an easy tube ride there. Head home with fantastic memories, new friends, and lots of knowledge about tea history and British culture!

  • $4,350 based on double occupancy
  • Air travel is not included but Onward Travel is happy to assist you in finding your flight
  • Contact Onward Travel with any questions at letsgo@onwardtravel.co or 267-825-5880